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imp: Joe Gideon & The Shark + Tupelo Town Assembly + Amy Sawers @ The Tunnels

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interesting music promotions present


Sunday 22nd March

The Tunnels, Carnegies Brae, Aberdeen, AB10 1BF. Phone 01224 211121

Doors 8pm | Entry 6



Gideon plucks six strings, dreams stories and sings. Kid sister Viva, a.k.a. 'The Shark', plonks, stomps and honks. Formerly members of Bikini Atoll, they released two albums on Bella Union, second album recorded by geeky genius Steve Albini. Then, they formed a family band and spent summer 06' getting drunk in a barn writing songs on their 8 track recorder. It's been two years now and in this time they've been invited to play with great bands and musicians around Europe; Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Archie Bronson Outfit, The Duke Spirit, Scout Niblett, Michael Gira and Seasick Steve to name but a few. Their tales are beginning and their tails are wagging....

Here's what Drowned In Sound has to say about them.

'How to describe London-based duo Joe Gideon & The Shark without you being in the same room as me its tough, for sure. Without waving hands and pulling shapes its tough to convey what this music can and usually does do to a body exposed to it; its rough, ragged, blues in its veins. Its dark, atmospheric, oddball and surreal; its on your doorstep and in your airspace, alien yet talking the same language about the same ol trials and tribulations of a life lived. Uppers and downers: expected and accepted...'



Three hell-bound souls on the last train to rock n roll, rhythm n groove oblivion. Taking the mainline through the Mississippi Delta and picking up the ferocity and groove of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the fuzzed up frenzy of British and US Freakbeat and Psych, the laid back swagger of the Bad Seeds, the guttural howl of the Cramps and the insistent drunken thump of Tom Waits on the way, Tupelo Town Assembly blaze a down and dirty blues soaked path not to be missed by any self respecting fan of this genre.



From 2000 onwards Amy Sawers has honed and defined her sound through extensive gigging and a melding of her broad influences into a satisfyingly unique sound of melody driven contemporary Alt Country rock n roll. Amy likes little more than the comfort of slinging on her telecaster stamping a four on the floor intro and ploughing through a set of songs that can both melt and invigorate and audience in equal measures. A track featured in the latest series of Skins will surely bring long over due wider recognition.


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Here's some stuff from The Skinny.

Live preview...

They may have an irritating tendency to talk about themselves in the third person, The Shark is also known as Viva, and they used to be in Bikini Atoll, but dont let all that put you off. Brother-sister duo Joe Gideon And The Shark have created their own dark, dramatic world, and their surreal take on ramshackle blues benefits from a little pretension: after all, if they dont believe in it, why should you? They dont, however, seem to have problems converting fans, and their gigs are reported to send even the fiercest sceptics into fits of dancing, arms-a-flailing. You've been warned.

The next big thing for 2009...

Joe Gideon and the Shark are the kind of band your mother warned you about. With scuzzed-up guitars leering over nihilistic pummels of drum, theirs is the sound of writhing rustic blues. To call this 'electrifying' would do little to convey the surging energy created by this London based brother-sister duo whose debut longplayer is set to embed itself within the nations ear-sockets early this year. Think the Archie Bronson Outfit muzzled by Mark E Smiths flaming growl: theres absolutely no doubt about it you need Joe Gideon and the Shark in your life this year.

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Link it or type it oot then!

How about the Boomkat review instead?

Joe Gideon & The Shark are a brother-sister duo, 'The Shark' component of the billing being Joe's sister Viva. Both Gideons were previously members of Bella Union band Bikini Atoll, although it would appear they're finding a fair amount of success out there on their own already, earning the approval of Nick Cave, who last year invited the duo to tour with him. Some months on the debut album arrives in all its scruffy glory. Joe's vocals take on a bluesy, preachy quality and musically the duo are as adept at belting out thickened up guitar riffs (as on the hammer-blow opener 'Harum Scarum') as they are epic piano-driven slow jams like the ethereally lovely 'Kathy Ray' and the grand post-rock jaunt 'Anything You Love That Much You Will See Again'. These two have forged an original, often very muscular sound for Harum Scarum, and although there's some real depth here (plenty of variation in the instrumentation and writing style) it still all feels like the work of a tightly knit duo - importantly, you could still imagine all this being rendered pretty faithfully in a live setting.

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This album seems to be getting a lot of pretty good reviews, eh?

The Quietus | Reviews | Joe Gideon & The Shark

A brother-sister blues-punk duo, Joe Gideon & the Shark differ from The White Stripes in at least three crucial ways. One is that singer-guitarist Joe a veteran of Bikini Atoll is often outshone by his sister Viva (aka The Shark), particularly in a live setting. A second is that nobody's yet produced a marriage certificate. A third is that these two are no Luddites.

Viva not only drums and plays keyboards, but sings backing vocals through a delay pedal and fills out the sound with programmed beats and sequences. Without his sister, Joe would be a bit of a busker, albeit one with a gift for an arresting one-liner. Without Joe, Viva would be a prim English Peaches who once competed at the Olympics as a rhythmic gymnast. Truly, the mind boggles.

Though a Londoner, Gideon is steeped in Americana. He sings in a southern US drawl and in an argot drawn from Beatnik novels, while his riffs channel 30s blues, 50s rock 'n' roll and the trashy punk primitivism of The Cramps. Originality might not be his strong suit, but he's redeemed by the conspiratorial urgency with which he delivers his lyrics and the poeticism that runs through them.

On 'Civilisation' he unfurls an improbable life story that's an amusing mix of self-aggrandisement and self-abasement. Wrote a book which was a spectacular success, spent all my earnings on weed and crystal meth, he declares at one point. Later, he opens 'True Nature' with this gem: She was a real bad judge of character as in she saw the good in everyone. Bar-room tales of wine, women and wickedness are naturally abundant, but there's an innocence to Gideon that endears him to you. The album's best song, 'Hide and Seek', tells the tale of a childhood game gone horribly wrong.

'Hide and Seek' damn near set East London alight when Joe Gideon & the Shark supported Wire at Cargo in February, and on record it's no less potent. Built on a Hammer Horror piano motif, it impresses in every way. The lyrics are wry and witty (What I didn't like about him was the way he smelled, runs the opening line), while Viva's looped backing vocals are hypnotic, and there's a heart-stopping moment when Joe delivers a terrified shout of I realised I was lost in a game! over a sudden burst of grinding guitars and crashing drums.

'Hide and Seek', the seventh of the album's nine songs, is the climax of an album focused largely on irreverent, comical character studies, with song titles including 'Daughter of a Loony' and 'Johan Was a Painter and Arsonist'. As the album draws to a close, Gideon switches to home-spun philosophy, and the title of the penultimate track brings a cryptic but comforting declaration: 'Anything You Love That Much, You Will See Again'. Musically gentle, this track eases us down from the peak of 'Hide and Seek' and seems to bring proceedings to a logical conclusion.

Irritatingly, however, the album ends not there but with the pointlessly tacked-on 'Pale Blue Dot', in which nothing at all happens. But this is the only serious misstep in an album that's witty, intense, dynamic and in its mix of blues and beats musically inventive at times. Joe Gideon & the Shark are breathing new life into the increasingly familiar boy-girl rock duo format, recently drawn into disrepute by The Ting Tings. Let's hope the mainstream takes the bait.

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Here's some more pretty amazing press...

One of the best live acts we've seen all year Time Out

Check them out theyre great MOJO

A terrific debut. Visceral and darkly driving nu-blues with compelling stories Uncut

The debut albums out early next year, make a note in your diary and go and buy it. Simple City Life Magazine

Sounds like the White Stripes on paper, but is a lot, lot better Rob Da Bank, BBC Radio 1

Dirty rock 'n' roll, done correctly - Artrocker

A wickedly original band The Stool Pigeon

Clever, quirky and charming rants and rave-ups from a brother-sister act, my neighbors in Queen's Park and my choice to open for us on our recent 2008 UK tour Jim Sclavunos (of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds) on his tip for 2009, Clash Magazine

Stunted rock n roll with a Birthday Party sense of tribal rhythms whilst those discordant guitars scuff away at the melee underneath-darkly brilliant stuff Subba Cultcha

A brilliant brother and sister duo that specialise in raw blues and righteous rocknroll - Diva

Fiercely original stuff Maxim

4 STARS Uncut

4 STARS Q Magazine

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